We’re at the tail end of Survivor NZ, and Simon joins me for his final thoughts on the season before he embarks on this own adventure! So sad he won’t be able to join me at the finale next week though. Thank you so much for your input this season, Simon. Really appreciate it!! 🙂 On to the episodes…

Episode 15 – Day 29-30

Casar. The main topic tonight is about making sure Mike doesn’t come back into the game. So, they keep sending people out who most likely can’t… Smart, right? Obviously Immunity challenge beast Tom ain’t pulling an Ozzy to send himself to Redemption! Meanwhile Avi wants to make sure he makes it clear to Barb and Nate that he is 100% with them… I love watching Avi’s strives and struggles in the game!

Redemption Island. Shannon is freaking out about facing Mike at the next Truel (three way duel), as she rocks up to her new home. Mike is pretty happy to see her. Poor Shannon shouldn’t feel this way at all! She played an awesome game. 😦 Mike is so confused with all his visitors telling him about the Barbfather and how she has controlled everyone from her hammock. You can just see he’s totally bumpuzzled by this Barb talk. The fact Mike has completely written off Barb is a travesty, just as much as these guys having PLASTIC SPOONS!! WTF?!


Casar. Tom’s seeing where Barb’s head is at, and she talks about not wanting to make the Final 3 and sit in front of a bitter jury… I know a lot of viewers were shocked at this. BUT, this is Barb! She’s been playing everyone up to this point. Telling people what they want to hear. Who knows when she’s lying or not?! Anywhos, Tom sees this as an opening to bring Barb to the Final 3 and he doesn’t see her as a threat to win at all!

After some weird talk about peanut butter and tomato and toast… Gross… Avi tells us he knows where every vote, bar Sala, has gone and that he’s got this game on lock! I do love Avi, but I’m not completely sure about his perception on things. And he still has so much trust in Tom to go to the end.

People actually eat this shit?!

Redemption Island. Jak is pretty adamant that it’s a final RI duel where someone returns to the game. I don’t want Shannon to goooooo….

Casar. And here comes the Shay v Tom game. Shay tells Avi that Tom told Nate to vote for him. Woah. Avi runs to Tom with this news and Tom quickly backtracks this story, ha! So hilarious how these two have it in for each other, but at the same time are trying to work together?!


HOLY MUDARONI! This reminds me of the same challenge from last year’s Australian Survivor, and I loved it! Transfer mud from the pit, to yourself, to the bucket. Most mud in their bucket wins an overnight Survivor Spa Resort! WOO WOO! Barb loves horses and wants this reward. Nate just wants SHEETS (Egyptian cotton)?

The boys don’t spend a lot of time in the mudpit, while the girls spend a bit more time getting the heavy mud clumps on their hair and body… Hmm. Who had the better strategy?

2nd place goes to Barb at 20kg, with Avi winning 1st at 22kg!

“Avi wins reward!!” It’s not Immunity, but hey it’s still a win.

Two of my faves, can’t complain 😉 Avi obviously chooses his bro, Tom to go on reward. Matty makes him choose one more, and he goes with Barb Marley! 😉

Look at them mud dreads!

Avi admits he chose Barb so Nate and Shay could bond back at camp… Yeah, like that’s gonna happen!

Casar. Avi is still hung up over the Shay outing him thing… He’s all over Tom right now and they are stronger than ever! They both agree Barb is the perfect person for them to bring to the end and thinks she’s done too little too late to win this thing. So. Underestimated. Let the boys think they’ve got it all under control…

Reward time. Avi: “Did you bring your journal, Barb?” Barb: “Yes I did”, Omg, nerds. After a short horseback ride, a resort, shower and barbecue are awaiting the lucky buggers! New Zealand spent good money on this reward.

Barby leading the pack!

Tom and Avi work on Barb in the pool. She agrees to helping the guys make it to the end, and all she really wants is to eat the reward feast! Avi looks like he’s the king sitting in the middle, having dinner with his bro Tom, and mumma B who thinks beetroot is the best part of the meal! Old people, eh?

Casar. The Nate and Shay bonding is going so well… So well that Nate starts talking about his retro game machine at home. Hahaha. I love it! Pretty much a fail, Avi. Sorry. Other than that, they really have NOTHING to talk about.


The others come back to camp, and Barb tries to downplay the reward by saying “BEST REWARD EVER!”. HAHAHA. Omg, way to go, Barb! Eek. Couldn’t help yourself could ya, woman. 😛 Most downplayed reward ever.

Redemption Island. Oh gosh, Shannon has joined in Jak’s bonker skits with a coconut phone call!


The whole of Casar are at the arena to witness THE BATTLE, between Captain Sparrow, jokester Jak and shaky Shannon. Thank you Matty for calling it something other than a duel. It’s a simple raise your arm that’s chained to a drum of water, drop your hand and the drum of water gives you a free shower. Last one standing wins the battle!

Lucky us, Mike isn’t wearing a shirt again and he shows off his chest. 😉 I’m really rooting for Shannon in this one though, c’mon girl! Jak seems to look like he’s struggling and after what seems like hours, only 10 minutes have passed. Good God. 17 minutes in and Shannon’s drum drops. NOOOOOOO. So devo. Shannon played an entertaining and strategic game. If only she didn’t let others words get to her. If you read her exit interviews, she now sees watching her game back that she was playing well and everything she did was right… Except for being voted out. Seeya Shannon! 😦

Be proud of your game, Shannon!

Check out Shannon’s exit interview HERE

Episode 16 – Day 31-32

Redemption Island. OMG, Shannon is out of the game and Mike is still harping on about how she’s an awful person in real life. Get a grip, bro! She’s alright.

Casar. Avi and Shay are bro-ing out and they whole-heartedly trust each other. Aww. That’s going to end soon… Shay also tells us she doesn’t trust Tom for the umpteenth time! Barb talks about planting seeds of doubts in people’s heads and that in her perfect world in this game, Shay WILL go next. Shay tells Tom she thinks she’s going next and he just sits there quietly… HAHA! Make it obvious, dude!

These two drive me nuts!!

It’s the geriatric congregation at the hammock yet again and the oldies discuss what’s the next plan. Nate is pretty annoyed with Shay spreading lies about him being homesick (which he is), and he’s happy for her to go next. Barb is just swingin’ in her hammock all happy as Larry right now!



It’s the balance a ball of paddle challenge; good, but boring. Tom keeps an eye on his competitors, and it’s only really Barb in this challenge!

So close, yet so far!

And for the fourth time in a row, Tom wins Immunity! Amazing stuff!

Move over Mike, a new sheriff’s in town!


Casar. At the start of the episode I thought SHay was going home, but then there was all this talk about Avi possibly getting the boot, as he has friends on the jury. Then we saw a glimpse of Nate potentially thinking about throwing Barb under the bus. On the flip side, Nate’s name was also thrown around! This episode was all over the joint to be honest, but by the time we go to tribal council it was evident who was going home. The ‘alliance’ between Tom and Barb (and Avi) was too strong. With Barb having the young boys on one side, and Nate on the other, it will be interesting how she moves forward. As for Avi, he voted out one of his closest allies, and was this the best for his game? Will Shay be bitter if she makes jury and not give him a vote in the end? I don’t see Shay coming back into this game so it’s a possibility. Avi hasn’t really fought for any of his allies to stay, except for Tom, who we all know is a little bit snakey. 😛 Shay joins Mike and Jak at Redemption Island. SUCH A SHAYME!!! Shay-4, Barb-1.

Sad to see Shady Shay go!! She was wicked cool.

Barb is the oldest and only woman left in the game!! I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next and how she weasels her way into the Finals… 😉 Here’s hoping! And I still think Mike makes it back into the game, HUGE THREAT! But at the moment, I definitely see Tom taking it to the end and winning this game. He has a great story arc and personally I wouldn’t mind seeing him win. Avi could also sway a few votes his way as some of the jury agree with honest game play, although he has screwed over some people too!! Ultimately, I would love to see Barb make the F3 and win this thing. What a story coming from her miserable time on Hermosa to a fantastic post-merge game. BRING ON THE FINAL WEEK!


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Is this the week the game died? Or the week Barb managed to manipulate her way to getting to the end. I now have no idea where Barbz stands in the game. While Shannon has been boosting Barb’s reputation on Redemption Island and Jak also impressed with her calling the shots from the hammock. So when Barb told Tom and Avi she would be mortified of going to the end was this a reverse psychology game move or her lying down on her sword at the end of the season. I really hope it’s the former and not the latter. The latter would break my lil Survivor heart once again so I’ll just say it’s the former. I’ll say Barb is sick of not getting the respect for making big moves from anybody so she will turn on her alliance one more time and go to the end with Tom and whoever comes back from Redemption.

Are we getting set to bring two people back from Redemption? New Zealand Survivor structure confuses me. We have four people left in the game with Tom, Avi, Barb and Nate. From what I remember it has been confirmed it is a final three and we have a confirmed four episodes next week. This is going to be a wild ending. Here is the way I see it heading though. One potential is that the first episode would be geared at getting our first competitor back from Redemption Island. Episode 2 we will have our second to last boot and Episode 3 will be geared towards the final boot. Finally the finale on Thursday we’ll have FTC (in the old format of course) and afterwards head to the Reunion show.

As for the reunion show I am absolutely gutted I can not be there. I am heading to Asia in T-6 hours from now. Writing this on my car ride to the airport. It has been hecticn so sorry for slowing Lynda down. I would love to know what kind of questions people want to hear at the reunion. I feel like Matt Chisholm may grill Dee a little bit for wanting to be the villain. I have a feeling he will then want to talk with almost everyone on the cast about their experience. I am very gutted to not be able to meet the mad dog Tony and Barb. These two have been the standouts in terms of characters for me (more on this in an inevitable season wrap up).

Who do I have winning at this stage? I think Tom takes pole position. Surely. The dominant challenge performers at Redemption are his friends (surely this is the last stand for Shady Shay). Should Jak or Mike come back from Redemption that leaves Nate as the odd man out that does not want to work with him. He has had an on and off relationship with Avi through the entire game, which now looks firmly on. And Barb has said she wants to go to the end with he and Avi. The options look endless for Tom. If he goes to the end with Avi though it may be interesting. While I have not exactly enjoyed Avi’s game he seems extremely liked by almost everyone. Shannon’s game self destructed after feeling the wrath of Avi’s scorn.

Going into finale week it is hard to place in Survivor history, as I do not think there has been one quite like it. For me Tom and Barb as winners would make me satisfied as winners. If they stood against each other it would remind me a lot of Colby and Tina going to the final together way back in Survivor Australia. In this NZ’s case it looks like Colby will win. Then if we have a final three and Avi makes it that makes him the Keith Famie. I do not think anyone in Survivor History, asides from Keith Famie, wanted a Keith win. That could be a distinct possibility should he make it to the end.

If I do not get to talk the finale thank you everyone for tuning in this season. It has been great to write this weekly segment and would love for your feedback if you have Twitter or on my Facebook 🙂

Blog by Lynda Olson